NIGER UNREST: Niger's military junta that has seized power of the West African nation
said Friday its leader is squadron chief Salou Djibo.
Armed soldiers carried out the coup Thursday, saying they were
suspending the country's constitution and dissolving all state
institutions. Regional blocks, including the African Union and the
Economic Community of West African States, have condemned the coup. A
spokesman for the military junta
said on state television Thursday the military had to take
responsibility to end the country's tense political situation.
US - DALAI LAMA: Officials in Beijing have summoned the U.S. ambassador to China to
protest President Barack Obama's meeting Thursday with the Dalai Lama,
the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai
summoned Ambassador Jon Huntsman to lodge what the ministry called "a
solemn representation" about Mr. Obama's meeting. Hours after talks
between the two Nobel Peace laureates ended in Washington, a Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman (Ma Zhaoxu) issued
a statement saying the meeting went against repeated commitments by the
U.S. government to recognize Tibet as a part of China, and not support
THAILAND - MIGRANTS: A United Nations human rights expert raised serious concerns Thursday
about Thailand's plan to document migrant workers' nationalities,
saying it could lead to mass deportations at the end of the month.
Jorge Bustamante says both documented and undocumented workers from Burma, Cambodia and Laos face deportation from Thailand.
Bangkok has given approximately 1.3 million migrants the chance to
extend their work permits for two years if they submit biographical
information to their home governments before February 28.
BANGLADESH - THAILAND: Police in Bangladesh say a speeding truck has collided with the convoy of a visiting Thai princess, killing one Thai embassy official. Authorities said Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's vehicle was not involved in the accident in Tangail, about 80 kilometers northwest of Dhaka. Thai officials reported that a counselor at the embassy (identified as Pannee Lickanajule) was critically injured and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The Thai princess is visiting Bangladesh as part of a U.S. research team from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN: Pakistan officials say the brother of an Afghan warlord tied to the
Taliban has been killed in a U.S. missile strike in northwestern
Authorities say Mohammed Haqqani was killed Thursday in the attack in
the Dandey Darpa Khel area of North Waziristan. Three other people were
also killed in the strike in the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan
Haqqani is the brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the senior leader of the
Haqqani network, a militant group with ties to al-Qaida and the
The suspected death of Mohammed Haqqani is the latest in a string of blows to militants operating in the region.
US - PLANE CRASH: Officials from the U.S. state of Texas say they have recovered two bodies from the building where a man intentionally crashed a small plane Thursday. Local fire department officials declined to identify the bodies. But earlier in the day, authorities said the bodies of the pilot and a federal employee who worked in the building were missing. The FBI has tentatively identified the pilot as Andrew Joseph Stack, a resident of the state capital of Austin, where the crash took place. Investigators say he was disgruntled with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and that is why he crashed into the building, which houses tax offices. Investigators say a suicide note in which he fiercely criticizes the IRS was found on his Web site.
IRAN DESTROYER: Iranian state television says the county has launched its first
domestically built destroyer, a move state TV calls a "major
technological leap" for the navy. The report says the Jamaran
guided-missile destroyer was launched Friday during a ceremony attended
by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. State television says the
vessel is armed with anti-ship and
surface-to-air-missiles. It also says the ship is "equipped with modern
radars and electronic warfare capabilities."
The report says more ships are under construction. (News Updates)
TOYOTA RECALL: The head of Japanese auto giant Toyota has agreed to testify before
U.S. lawmakers next week and answer questions about safety concerns
regarding his company's vehicles.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Thursday he looks forward to speaking directly with Congress and the American people.
Toyoda will speak before the Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform in the House of Representatives, which invited him on Thursday
testify next week. (News Updates)
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